Night working to build new bridge deck after Carlisle freight train derailment, via Network Rail

Carlisle routes reopen after major freight derailment

After seven weeks of disruptions to passenger travel, due to a freight train derailment that cut off two key rail routes in Carlisle, rail passengers are once again able to traverse the route.

Direct trains on the Tyne Valley are now officially running again as of 6am Wednesday 7th December, producing transport availability between Carlisle and Newcastle and the Settle to Carlisle line between Carlisle, Appleby and Skipton.

As a result of the incident, major damages were caused to a Victorian-built railway bridge, the railway lines and signalling equipment. Network Rail engineers have since worked tirelessly to restore the railway at Petteril Bridge junction, with more than 25,000 hours of work taking place.

Mark Evans, Network Rail senior programme manager, said:

“I’d like to thank passengers for their patience while we worked tirelessly to get the railway back up and running after it was severely damaged by the freight train derailment.

“This has been a very complex recovery and repair job. Now it’s complete this major railway junction is future-proofed and has been strengthened in the very rare event anything like this should happen again meaning more reliable journeys for passengers and freight for years to come.”

Over the last seven weeks works included

  • Forensic rail accident investigators assessed the cause of the derailment.
  • The locomotive and 11 of 14 wagons carrying powdered cement were recovered soon after the incident.
  • Giant vacuums removed 80 tonnes of powdered cement from 3 wagons which needed lifting.
  • Environment Agency experts made sure no contamination entered the river Petteril.
  • An 800-tonne crane recovered those wagons which ended up in the water and on the embankment.
  • Eighty metres of damage track was replaced.
  • 400 metres of cabling was installed for signals and points.
  • Replacement of two switches – moving sections of track which enables trains to switch lines.
  • 125 tonnes of structural concrete were poured into 16 tonnes of metal reinforcement cages to repair the damaged railway bridge over the river.
  • The work took 25,000 hours, over 40 people working 7 days-week, for 7 weeks.

Kerry Peters, regional director at Northern, said:

“We have been working very hard with Network Rail to reopen the railway at Petteril bridge following the freight train derailment in October.

“Now that work is complete, Northern services have resumed on both the Tyne Valley and Settle to Carlisle lines – and we have allocated extra advance purchase fares to welcome people back on-board. We’d like to thank our customers for being patient during this disruption and everyone involved in getting our passengers moving again.”

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